Should you be involved in a Florida automobile accident, there are three critical steps you must be sure to take to ensure your best outcome. Failure to follow these steps exactly will likely mean forfeiting a fair and just settlement.
Every year, there are an average of 6 million automobile accidents in the United States and more than 400,000 in Florida alone. That’s an average of more than 1,000 Florida automobile accidents a day. And of those, more than 40 percent result in injury.
Did you realize that, according to the Insurance Research Council, someone with legal representation following a car accident on average receives three to three-and-a-half times more than someone who tried to fight for their rights on their own?
Don’t make the mistake of trying to represent yourself if you’re involved in a Florida automobile accident. The attorneys of Allen & Abaray, P.A. specialize in these exact situations and are available to be sure you get a just settlement.
Your first step is to contact your insurance company to begin the claims process. Because Florida is a “no-fault” state, all Florida drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
There are specific procedures that must be followed in order to file a successful PIP claim. Our attorneys are available to help.
If the other driver is at fault, you may have the opportunity to collect on damages in excess of the $10,000 maximum available via your PIP insurance. However, do not contact the other driver’s insurance company on your own, and do not answer any questions from the other party’s insurer without consulting an attorney first. Any statements you make can be used against you.
It is critical that you refrain from either offering an official statement or settling your claim at the accident site or thereafter without consulting an attorney.
While you are required to report the accident to the insurance company, and while you should do that as soon as possible, you are not obligated to give a recorded statement at that time. Don’t be intimidated by any perceived pressure to give a recorded statement. Stand firm and contact an attorney who can help you through the recorded statement process so that you avoid potential pitfalls.
Contact a Florida automobile accident attorney as soon as possible, ideally the same day.
Provide a description of what’s happened, and schedule a phone or in-person meeting. Our attorneys are willing to come to you if that’s necessary.
An attorney’s meeting typically involves taking additional photos of injuries and property damage, signing a contingency contract, a review of the client’s rights, medical releases, including HIPPA forms and a review of the case.
It’s important to understand that the extent and severity of any injuries may not present themselves until some time after the accident. What often happens to those who try to represent themselves is that the insurance company will offer a meager settlement amount as soon as they can. The victim agrees to the settlement only to realize down the line that their damages are far more extensive and costly.
An unrepresented claimant lacks the experience and legal understanding to negotiate properly with an insurance company.
Remember, insurance companies have teams of full-time lawyers who began evaluating your claim as soon as it was filed. Going it alone against a team of experienced lawyers who work daily to protect the interests of the insurance company is not a good move. You need an even playing field that includes your own skilled and experienced legal team.
Contact the Law Offices of Allen & Abaray, P.A. to realize your best settlement.